Between the structured and the unstructured – different experiences of master thesis supervision in Sweden and Poland

In this blog entry, originally a research essay, I aim to study my individual experiences of master supervision in two countries – Sweden and Poland in the light of the research on internationalisation of higher education classroom by Crose (2011), on intercultural competence by Gopal (2011) and theory of cultural dimensions of Hofstede (1997).

On nurses, strikes, and public sociology

On 24th May 2016 nurses who work at the Child Health Centre, the major paediatric centre for serious illnesses in Poland, started a strike action.

How good is a good job?

What is a measure of a good job is not a common understanding – the EU follows quality of work through at least 3 different indexes[1], employer and employee organizations each have their own[2], ILO follows Decent Work Indicators and OECD has only recently launched its Job Quality Framework.

Mining industry in Poland - under pressure of closures, still fighting

In summer 2015 I went to Zabrze - a city in Silesia region in Poland to conduct several interviews for the purpose of publication on gendered character of trade unions’ protests in Poland. The Silesia region is known as the centre of mining industry in the country - the industry that has been under pressure of closures or last several years. In 2014 and 2015 miners from different holdings organised various protests and strikes to protect their jobs and demand more active role in the processes of restructuring.

Cleaning up the mess

What does alleged cheating at both the world’s largest car-maker and the largest electronics manufacturer tell us about state regulation and the role of labour?

No More Mothers

I have been away this month interviewing people for my film project comparing Bulgarian workers’ experiences in divided communities. I returned from Lefkosia, the capital of Cyprus, this week where there was a palpable sense of optimism that after 41 years of division and foreign occupation, there may finally be a chance of reunification. There has been little reason for such optimism at any point since the 1974 invasion, with the 2004 ‘Annan Plan’ rejected in a referendum

#WorkingIllegally - how to talk on work issues in documentary

At the end of April, I visited Glasgow and had occasion to see an interesting documentary with Olena and Radek. I think the subject of it goes well with the discussion that we have now in the blog section - on how to talk about social phenomenons using filming methods.

Filming in Ireland

Last week I was in Belfast doing filming for the short documentary that I am making through the Changing Employment project. The subject of the film is related to my doctoral and previous research, insofar as it looks at the experiences of migrant workers. However, what is new is that I am looking at the challenges and opportunities that present to new (and not so new!) arrivals in communities that are already divided.

One for all, all for one: three female migrant workers – my filming experience

Theme 2 and the INTEGRIM network are undertaking a film training organised by the CEU in Budapest and Olena. I would like to share some of my filming experiences with you, which will hopefully lead to a nice short film in the end.

Solidarité avec les sans-papiers - undocumented migrants in Belgium organising themselves

There are about 150,000 undocumented migrants in Belgium, many of them living in Brussels. Although sans papiers belong to the most vulnerable denizens, being denied most of the rights, they rarely take a passive position just waiting for changes from the above.

Notes of resistance in the Scottish Whisky Industry – 1st Post, Swallows in whisky distilleries

These series of posts can be read as an exercise of what actually encompasses resistance, or simply an act of ‘distraction’ from your working lives.

Radical precarisation and workers’ radical responses

In South Korea, where more than half workers are in “non-regular” jobs, labour movement has been increasingly resorting to radical methods of protest.

Feminisms: fragmentation vs. collaboration - A reflection from fieldwork in Spain

During my fieldwork in Madrid with migrant care workers I had the chance to meet a group of women that call themselves “Territorio Domestico”

Resisting trade deals in Brussels

As the most recent round of negotiations took place last week in Brussels between the EU and US on the TTIP deal, a campaign meeting and demonstration was organised by civil society groups from around Europe that are opposed to the deal.

Making a living in the streets of Brussels: the changing nature of work and employment

Informal workers are the most vulnerable part of the precariat. But could they maybe also become the agent of change, the revolutionary element in Europe’s inequality-striken societies?

The Intellectual Property Rights … The Master of Academic Puppets or a Raincoat?

Even though the issue of the Intellectual Property Rights should be considered the categorial imperative guiding each profession, it seems that there is still room for controversies when it comes to addressing the issue.

The trap of “social partnership” discourse– Some keys for reflection from Claus Offe

The expression “social partners” is often used lightly in the literature on employment relations, not only in institutional texts, but more surprisingly in academic research and trade union discourse. However, "employer organizations" and "trade unions" do not have equal structural positions and opportunities in our capitalist society, and this should be recalled. I would like to share some reflections from an article by Claus Offe, that I found enlightening for understanding this unbalance. 

My last participant observation. The other side of the coin, some reflections from my Fieldwork.

I would like to share with all you some reflections on the current stage of my research. As I research labour consciousness, behaviour and experience, this debate is key for my understanding about working lives; because it concerns the nature of discourse required in considering the constitution of social reality.

Flexibility in practice. The case of Romanian unions during the recent crisis.

We’ve been hearing a lot in the recent years the word ‘flexibility’ in any discussion about labour market reform. We’re told that a flexible labour market is a means to return to economic growth. In contrast, current labour market regulations create ‘rigidities’ that are the source of all things evil.

Fieldwork: techniques to approach respondents

What should one tell respondents in the first phone call? How to break the ice and raise interest in one´s research? This checklist by Weiss (1995: 35) can guide you.

The following checklist by Weiss (1995: 35) is incredibly helpful.

The changing nature of Employment Relations in Europe

The second ChangingEmployment Workshop on employment relations in multinationals in Europe has taken place at KU Leuven from 7 to 9 April.

Ways of seeing

How can we use photographs we take during the field-work?

bizarre research experiences

The right person, the wrong place?

Multimedia training at the London Metropolitan University

This short video that introduces Theme 2 and its members shows also filming and editing skills acquired during the training.

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